Born in San Francisco in 1951, Wendy Pini grew up in Gilroy, CA. Largely self taught, her artistic talents were influenced by turn-of-the-century illustrators, film and TV animation, Shakespeare, Japanese history, fairy tales, myths and modern fantasy. Wendy began exhibiting her artwork at sci-fi conventions in the mid ’60s, garnering awards and recognition.
In 1972 she married Richard Pini and in 1974 she began her professional career as an illustrator for magazines such as “Galaxy” and “Worlds of If.” In 1978 Wendy and
Richard co-founded Warp Graphics and ELFQUEST was born. As the first Japanese anime-influenced graphic novel series with a high fantasy theme to be published in America, it became an international phenomenon attracting male and female readers of all ages. As of ELFQUEST’S 35th anniversary, millions of related comics, graphic novels, books, calendars and other merchandise have been sold worldwide.
Wendy has worked for nealy all the major comics publishers such as Marvel, First Comics, Comico, DC Comics and, most recently, Dark Horse Comics. She wrote and painted two critically acclaimed graphic novels based on the hit TV series “Beauty and the Beast” and supplied text and illustrations for “Law and Chaos,” an art book inspired by the writings of Michael Moorcock.
In 1997 Wendy had the rare privilege of designing the elfin mascot for the Enclosed Laminar Flames investigation (ELF) an experiment performed in space by members of the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia. In June 2012, Wendy and husband/partner Richard were guest speakers at Spacefest IV.
Also in 2012, along with Richard, Wendy was honored as one of a growing list of comic industry pioneers to donate her entire body of Elfquest work to Columbia University NY Library’s archives. Her artwork and writings will be permanently available to students and the public for study.
In the Summer of 2010, after four labor-intensive years, Wendy completed her adults-only graphic novel based on the classic Edgar Allan Poe short story “Masque of the Red Death.” Her animated web comic of the same name has received millions of views. It has been published as a complete, limited edition, 400 page collectors volume by Warp Graphics/Father Tree Press. Wendy has also completed the book and lyrics for a musical adaptation of “Masque of the Red Death” and is currently collaborating with composer Gregory Nabours and dramaturg Calvin Remsberg.
Wendy has never stopped producing new comics-related material. Her latest effort is “Elfquest: The Final Quest,” the next epic story arc in the long-running fantasy saga which is now being published by Dark Horse Comics. She considers this her life’s work.